New Zealand v West Indies, World Cup 2015, 4th quarter-final, Wellington March 21, 2015

Guptill's 237 drives New Zealand into semi-final

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New Zealand 393 for 6 (Guptill 237*, Taylor 3-71) beat West Indies 250 (Gayle 61, Boult 4-44) by 143 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A double-century in a one-day international is not quite passé, but has become more common than ever seemed possible. A double-century in a World Cup quarter-final? That is something truly special. Martin Guptill's unbeaten 237 was the highest World Cup score of all time and the second-highest in all ODIs, but most importantly it ensured New Zealand's progression to the World Cup semi-finals for the seventh time.

Nobody in the partisan crowd in Wellington will ever forget Guptill's innings. Nor will Marlon Samuels, who in the first over of the match grassed Guptill at square leg. It is hard to imagine a costlier one-day drop, for Guptill went on to score 60% of New Zealand's 393 for 6. To add to the hurt, Samuels later fell to the most brilliant of catches, when a backpedalling Daniel Vettori at third man leapt and pinched a one-hander above his head that would have gone for six.

It was that sort of day for New Zealand. Buoyed by the home support, they did just about everything right. West Indies kept up with the run-rate, just not the preservation rate required. They limped past Guptill's individual tally at nine wickets down, and were bowled out for 250 in the 31st over. Trent Boult had done the damage by claiming four wickets in his opening spell.

Chris Gayle pummelled 61 off 33 balls and provided some evening entertainment. Stiff with a bad back, Gayle dealt almost exclusively in boundaries. He struck eight sixes and two fours, and his innings was the most one-sided thing in a one-sided game: only one of his runs came through off. But he was bowled by Adam Milne for what was but a cameo compared to Guptill.

Guptill had faced the first ball of New Zealand's innings and the last. He played proper cricket shots, premeditating little but punishing the West Indies bowlers when they offered up half-volleys. He saw off 65 dot balls, respecting the good ones and making the most of the others. He brought up his 200 with a powerful crunch down the ground for four off Andre Russell from his 152nd delivery.

It was fitting, for throughout his innings Guptill's straight driving was so impressive you'd think he'd just had a wheel alignment. Guptill basked in the standing ovation, knowing that this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. When he had moved past 171, he had the highest World Cup score by a New Zealander, beating Glenn Turner's effort in their very first World Cup match back in 1975.

Guptill's 163-ball innings featured 24 fours and 11 sixes, and he alone scored 92 of New Zealand's 153 in the final ten overs. In the 50th over he even launched a six onto the roof. New Zealand knew they had the ingredients for a show-stopping product: a huge home crowd, a good pitch, a toss won, a shaky opposition attack. But Guptill cooked up something that spilled out of the Cake Tin entirely.

He scored freely throughout his innings but not surprisingly the flow of runs became an inexorable current during the late stages. His first half-century came off 64 balls and his hundred from 111. Do the maths and you'll realise that means his second hundred came from 41 deliveries. Wherever West Indies pitched it in the final ten over, Guptill had a six waiting for them.

This was a man at the peak of his powers: his 105 against Bangladesh in the previous game was just a warm-up. And though he scored 195 more than his nearest team-mate, he had plenty of support. The most prolific partnership was his 143-run stand with Ross Taylor for the third wicket; Taylor scored only 42 of those runs as he nudged the ball around for ones and twos.

In fact, the run out of Taylor arguably came at the perfect time for New Zealand, as it allowed Corey Anderson and then Grant Elliott to come in and find the boundary. Elliott's 27 off 11 balls was a fine cameo and his half-century partnership with Guptill came from only 15 legal balls. Jerome Taylor got rid of Elliott and Luke Ronchi at the end, but Elliott and Ronchi were not the problem.

The West Indian effort in the field was listless. Samuels' dropped chance was the stand-out, but the first ball of the game was ominous: Jason Holder and Sulieman Benn both lethargically pursued Guptill's straight drive. They could have saved the boundary, but didn't. West Indies became more disheartened as the innings wore on, and more mistakes were made.

Really, they'd have needed to do everything right after losing the toss. The first wicket was encouraging, as Holder lived up to his name by running away with the flight from mid-off and clinging on to a super catch to get rid of Brendon McCullum for 12. New Zealand were 27 for 1, but from there not much went West Indies' way.

Guptill and Kane Williamson put on 62 for the second wicket before Williamson drove Russell's slower ball to a juggling Gayle at cover for 33. But as long as Guptill was there West Indies - and a whole bunch of ODI and World Cup records - were anything but safe.

The result means New Zealand will host South Africa at Eden Park on Tuesday, a meeting that guarantees a first-time finalist at this World Cup. New Zealand have reached semi-finals at six previous World Cups but have yet to emerge from one victorious. In form and at home, they may never have a better chance.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2015, 11:25 GMT

    I think the quarter finals have proven what a huge gap there is between the winners and losers. Exceptions can be made for Sri Lanka, who were just poor and overwhelmed by SA's bowlers that day and Pakistan, who on their day can compete with anyone, but as Bob Willis says: 'consistently-inconsistent', The Windies' bowlers simply lack penetration, variation and discipline, they don't bowl enough good balls in the right areas. And the batters seem to be on T20 mode, getting to 250 in the 31st over was a impressive rate, but losing 10 wickets in that time, just illustrates none of the top order batting were willing to play themselves in and pace the innings to set any kind of platform. This has got to go back to their domestic grassroots and address the weaknesses that are exposed at International top level.

  • Dummy on March 22, 2015, 18:28 GMT

    I think Martin Guptil scoring an actual 60% of the blackcaps teams total has got complete irrelevance on how everyone else contributed. The way he was seeing and striking the ball is going to result in alot of boundaries over 50 overs which means hes going to obtain alot of strike? Also everyone else done there job perfectly providing a partner at the other to give hime the opportunity to acheive such a thing.Williamson, Taylor , Elliott and Vettori all had great knocks. On game situation is how the Black Caps construct there game. They are the hardest team to beat in the worldcup!! NZ Aus Final, NZ to take it! Just as Ian Botham predicted before the WC

  • Andre on March 22, 2015, 16:16 GMT

    Well done Martin Guptill. You made 237 runs of a total of 393 runs. This means your team mates could only add 156 to the total! This could be a problem for NZ if catches are not dropped and the rest of the team must perform against a bowling attack such as that of the Proteas.

  • Al on March 22, 2015, 16:13 GMT

    ECKS Y ZEDD tells it how it is.......actually the cake tin where this game was held is not so small......smaller grounds has not always meant bigger scores.....bigger scores can be blamed on the extra wood in the bats.....blackcaps all the way as predicted by true cricket supporters

  • Shine on March 22, 2015, 12:52 GMT

    Congrats to Martin Guptill and New Zealand. This was the most comprehensive one-day innings ever played in the history of the game filled with only classic cricketing shots right out of the book. It did come with one blemish of a dropped catch but this kind of innings needed that to define it was human. We can say that this innings was performed in familiar conditions, a weak bowling attack, smaller ground and so on but the beauty of how it was paced and the fluency of the shots played are unforeseen. Way to go Martin Guptill. You make all cricket fans around the world proud. This New Zealand team deserves to take the World cup home more than any other team. Good luck to team New Zealand.

  • Altaf on March 22, 2015, 9:47 GMT

    Ambrose as a bowling coach had been proved disaster for WI. In last 2 months, they hammered for 400 score thrice. All bowling records broken, bowlers going for 90-100 regularly. They have no variations like slow, bounce, york, outside off etc. They were worse than grade C team.

  • Dummy on March 22, 2015, 9:43 GMT

    Listen up you haters! As we are the hosts of this damn thing, then just get your minds around this tricky little concept....you actually have to play on our grounds and pitches. And if we actually beat your team... We probably deserve it! Your teams have had 6 odd years of knowing this. Yes here in NZ we barely have 100000 playing cricketers (including children) so we just don't have an MCG in every town. But what we do have are lovely little grounds that I'm sure are a delight to play on and watch cricket from. So as your hosts, we will cheer, jeer and have a beer with your fans. We will wave at your players in the street and look after your supporters when they visit our towns. We will enjoy this once in a lifetime moment and support our home team as they play better than they have ever played before. So if you don't like it, keep your miserable comments, swig another glass of vinegar and wipe whatever food you eat from wherever you are off your keyboard and shirt. Kiwis rock!

  • greig on March 22, 2015, 7:45 GMT

    So much better than Rohit Sharmas knock. Well done Guptil

  • Altaf on March 22, 2015, 6:12 GMT

    Aus-NZ match was interesting though low scoring. If they continue conditions like these, very soon people will get bored of it, and so turn away from the game.

  • John on March 22, 2015, 6:08 GMT

    Well done Guptill/NZ.

    It's great that we now have 2 semi finals and then final which will be hard to call with the 4 best teams all with a similar chance (IMO) of winning the trophy. Personally I'd love to see NZ win it. They play a great brand of SF cricket and it's lovely to see the charismatic grounds packed with support.

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